My experience from college to university
Hi everyone, I’m Jack, a first year Computer Science student. In this blog I’m going to be talking about my transition from college to university, how I’ve found it, kept up with the work, and give a few tips to new students on how best to prepare.
My thoughts before university
Originally, I was leaning towards not going to university, I felt like I had spent enough time in education and so I was looking at other areas to go into after college. It wasn’t until my college did their UCAS rounds when I started looking into higher education. During my A-Levels and the build-up to the exam season, I was having to balance my studies along with caring for a family member, along with the nervousness of being the first generation in my family to go university. I had many barriers and uncertainties to get through, to get to the position I am in now. Student reps from different universities coming into my college and from UCAS fairs describing their university lifestyle really gave me a true experience of what to expect while at university. Being able to speak to students and hear from their first-hand experiences really put into perspective what university is like and what experiences I could gain out of it.
How I've found being at university
Overall, since starting my Computer Science course in 2020 I have enjoyed the year and have many memories and have felt that I have finished the year being a better and more independent person. The biggest challenge I faced was the independence in studying for the course. Nobody other than yourself will tell you to sit down and study so you need strong motivation and a real drive to dedicate the time studying. Personally, I had set times during the week where I would sit down to recap my lecture slides and lab notes, maintaining a schedule that I (mostly) stuck to was the best way to keep me motivated to study.
- My biggest tip for future students would be to keep up to date with your work, rather than leaving it until the night before and have the unnecessary stress.
- Another tip is to also make the most out of the university’s facilities to help you study. For example, I often used the Sheila Silver library in the city campus to help keep focused while I was writing up a report.
Support from the university
Moving into my accommodation and settling into university was admittedly a very anxious but exciting time. The support given from the university has helped me ease into university life much easier. For me, I applied to university through Clearing and received an offer from Leeds Beckett. I had yet to confirm the offer on UCAS but in that time, a woman from the university phoned me up to ask if I had any questions about the university or my course. This was valuable to me as I was able to ask about the support the university offered to students.
In particular, I was curious about the careers team and the support students had in finding placements throughout the summer and for their placement years.
Career support from universities was one of my deciding factors when deciding which university to go to. I was given a huge amount of information about the careers team and what they offer, from employability workshops to preparing your CV, and how to succeed in interviews.
The university were welcoming from the start and it was reassuring when they rang me to ask if I had anymore questions about the university and my course before starting. Further, Leeds Beckett University offer a large variety of bursaries to students, these are grants which don’t have to be repaid and have massively helped me finance and live more comfortably during my studies, and have helped me been able to focus more on my studies while I am at university. In particular, the Placement and CPD Support Bursary has been very beneficial for me as it has helped me cover some of the cost of my accommodation during my summer internship.
To sum up
Overall, the transition to university for me was challenging. I have been faced with many barriers to get me here and was anxious to start my course, but the independence gained from living away from home and studying a course I enjoy, along with the support from the university makes me happy to be where I am and I am looking forward to the rest of my course in the upcoming years.